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The wood fire kiln hold about 60 pieces of pottery this year.
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Mike Calhoun inside the kiln handing completed pieces to the inspector outside. This becomes the first look at the colors.
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Every member of the family plays a role in this Thanksgiving tradition.
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Each piece is inspected and priced while visitors look on.
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Mike and others carry pieces to the display tables. You hear people start whispering and pointing, getting their game plan ready.
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Glenn Bolick's last instructions: wait for the bell and be kind to one another.
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The bell sounds and, within seconds, people are on the move.
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A proud crowd!
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Most were lucky enough to get a piece from the kiln; if not, there's plenty of work available in the two galleries on the family farm.
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If the bottoms are not quite smooth enough, Glenn is on hand to smooth it out.
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The game plan worked!
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The only one of a kind: the Santa/ Mrs. Claus double-sided face jug.
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Glenn Bolick watches over the experience never losing his smile.
It's been going on for almost three decades. On Thanksgiving Day, the Bolick family fires up the wood kiln and extends an invitation to those who are as in love with pottery as they are, come by on Saturday morning and see what we got. And like any good Southerner bound by tradition and community, they came.
For most of us, the days that follow Thanksgiving are filled with people taking advantage of after-Thanksgiving sales, stampeding the mall in search of deals. However, just off Bolick Road in Lenoir, North Carolina, at about 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, it’s another stampede of sorts – deals be damned; these shoppers crave the harvest of the wood fire kiln. At this yearly event, the Bolick family reaches back in time to days when wood and fire forged stunning colors unknown until the process was completed. As people began trickling onto the family farm around 9 a.m., they peeped around corners, edging closer to the kiln almost as if it were the celebrity. In about an hour, they would get to see the prizes, but if these shoppers wanted a piece of tradition, they would have to work for it.
Glenn Bolick has been “turning pots” since the 1960s when he married his original potter, Lulu. Since then, each generation has been adding his talent to the growing family legacy. Whether it be unloading the kiln or loading the tables, family is at the center of this celebration.
It has been a wonderful fall with Blue Ridge Country readers. We have met some wonderful people, traveled to some incredible places and shared stories which make us better people. We hope you have enjoyed them as well. Len and I wish you a wonderful holiday season as you hold family and friends just a little bit tighter. We’ll return the first of the year with more stories and tales of adventure and travel in our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Judy and Len Garrison are at home in Farmington, Georgia, just on the outskirts of Dawg country - better known as Athens. Len, an IT manager for a major Atlanta company, and Judy, an editor, author and travel writer, invite you to travel along with them as they explore the best of the South. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at Seeing Southern, and follow them on Twitter at @judyhgarrison, @seeing_southern, LIKE them on Facebook and on Instagram.